Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: As heatwave goes on, saving water essential

Editor's Viewpoint

We never get the weather that pleases everyone in Northern Ireland, it seems. While many of us have been taking advantage of the unexpected heatwave, basking in the rays, others are hoping for the more usual rainfall.

Northern Ireland Water has introduced a hosepipe ban for households (businesses are exempt) and is asking people to inform on their neighbours if they see them breaking the embargo. It's a request that traditionally doesn't go down too well here, where the idea of grassing up others to the authorities is often frowned upon.

However, it is incumbent on all of us to use water responsibly, especially at a time when reservoir levels are dropping and water treatment plants are working at full tilt to meet demand.

Our flowers will survive in the long-term and, even if they don't, places like hospitals or care homes are in greater need of water than our gardens.

The heatwave and the falling levels in reservoirs have, however, revealed a long lost sight in the Mournes - a road and a bridge, once a well-used route before the valley was flooded, has emerged from the waters.

As other photographs in the newspaper reveal, the heatwave has continued at an opportune time, the start of the school holidays.

Our favourite beaches in the north west and in Co Down are thronged, both with people who have decided to holiday at home and with visitors to the country.

The strands at Portrush and Portstewart, as well as the beaches around Newcastle in Co Down, can now be enjoyed in all their glory, and there are many famous tourism destinations around the world which are envious of our miles of pristine sand.

While we all love to be beside the seaside in good weather, or even to take a dip in local lakes or rivers, we should, however, be aware of the potential dangers. Two recent deaths along our rivers show that tragedy can often be close at hand when we are enjoying ourselves.

The good news for those of us who love the sunshine, though, is that it should continue for another fortnight, creating the sort of summer that we fondly, if maybe not accurately, remember from our childhood.

The bad news is that could create more problems for NI Water in keeping supplies flowing. We can play our part by controlling our use of water as much as possible so everyone can be a winner this summer.

Belfast Telegraph

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